Las Vegas officer charged with manslaughter in chokehold death - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Las Vegas officer charged with manslaughter in chokehold death

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Kenneth Lopera (Source: LVMPD) Kenneth Lopera (Source: LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Metro Officer Kenneth Lopera is charged with involuntary homicide after using a rear-naked chokehold on Tashii Farmer that resulted in Farmer's death..

The death of Tashii S. Farmer, the man who died in police custody last month, was ruled a homicide by the Clark County Coroner on Monday. 

Forty-year-old Farmer, also known as Tashii Brown, died on May 14, 2017. Farmer was unarmed at the time of the incident. 

Metro said Lopera and his partner were approached by Farmer inside the Venetian Hotel who was "sweating heavily, looked panicked and stated people were chasing him. Lopera tried to talk to farmer and he ran away , going through an "employee only" area of the hotel. Lopera chased farmer, and caught up with him outside, while Farmer was trying to open the tailgate of an pickup that had at least one person inside. Farmer then ran to the driver's side.

Lopera fired his Taser, thinking Farmer was trying to carjack the person inside the truck, according to LVMPD. Farmer overcame the Tasing and began to fight with Lopera, police said. Lopera punched Farmer several times. Lopera then used the unapproved "rear-naked chokehold" on Farmer for more than one minute. An officer gave Farmer chest compressions until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Sunrise Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.

READ MORE: Officer used improper rear-naked choke on innocent man before his death

On Monday, Farmer's cause and manner of death were released.

“The autopsy determined the cause of death to be asphyxia due to police restraint procedures and other significant conditions included methamphetamine intoxication and cardiomegaly," Coroner John Fudenberg said. "The manner of death is ruled homicide.”

Lopera was also charged with "oppression under the color of office." Lopera was under paid administrative leave following the incident. On Monday, he was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Las Vegas Protective Police Association bailed Lopera out of jail. 

“We're going to stand by him and we're going to defend him and hope in the end that it all works out,” Steve Grammas, of the police association said.

“He didn’t go out there trying to kill or injure anyone that wasn’t his intent his intent was to try and get that person into custody,” Grammas said.

“They felt very well leaving but you have to remember a life has been taken,” Pastor Willie Ray Cherry, Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church said.

The law firms representing Farmer’s children said they plan to file a a civil law suit against LVMPD and officer Lopera.

The law firm, Callister & Associates, Lou Shoch and Fred Sayer of Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo LLP said Lopera had a conscious and willful disregard for Farmer’s safety and that he should be charged with a harsher crime.

Andre Lagomarsino is representing Farmer’s mother.

A completed report and Use of Force Review Board is expected to be scheduled within the next two months, according to Metro Police.

Stay with FOX5 and fox5vegas.com for the latest developments. 

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